GRENVILLE, Bernard (1567-1636), of Stowe, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. 1567, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Richard Grenville II by Mary, da. of Sir John St. Leger of Annery, Devon. educ. King’s, Camb. 1584. m. 10 July 1592, Elizabeth (d.1617), o. da. and h. of Phillip Bevill of Brinn and Killigarth, 4s. 1da. suc. fa. 1591. Kntd. 1608.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cornw. 1596-7, j.p. dep. lt. 1598; alderman, Bideford by 1620; gent. of privy chamber to Chas. I 1628.


In October 1589, Grenville’s father asked Walsingham to arrange that his

eldest son being now of some ripe years, and I hope able to serve her Majesty and his country in civil as in martial actions, may by your Honour’s means have such charge of private bands of men as are now under me, and to supply a place with the rest in justice, wherein my care shall be over him while I am [alive], as he shall be able to do her Highness and his country the better service when I am gone.

Grenville came into the main family estates by a deed of 1586 and an indenture of 6 Feb. 1591. He then made a fortunate marriage, was returned to Parliament for Bodmin and became a deputy lieutenant. In 1596 he was ordered to fortify his island of Lundy. Pleading poverty and ‘the good service’ of his ancestors, Grenville asked for money, but the reply was that if he neglected Lundy, the Queen would ‘take the island wholly into her own hands and make her own profit of it for the defence of the same’. At the time of Carew’s Survey of Cornwall Grenville was in charge of no less than 1,000 men in Cornwall, the second largest force in the county. Carew described Stowe as ‘a place of great and good mark and scope’ and its owner as one who ‘in a kind magnanimity treadeth the honourable steps of his ancestors’.2

Grenville was buried 26 June 1636.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.


  • 1. A. L. Rowse, Sir Richard Grenville, 58-9, 337-9; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 191-2; PRO Index 4208, pp. 85, 97; N. Carlisle, Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, 128; Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 330.
  • 2. Rowse, 232, 281, 337-8; HMC Hatfield, vi. 35, 36; viii. 18; APC, xxv. 237, 380; xxviii. 244-5; Carew’s Surv. Cornw. ed. Halliday, 157, 187.
  • 3. Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. ix), 85.